DRAFT SINGLE EQUALITY SCHEME by dfhercbml

VIEWS: 23 PAGES: 9

More Info
									DRAFT SINGLE EQUALITY
              SCHEME
  Our strategy for equality and diversity

                           [2009-2012]
Foreword

Kingston University is committed to the fair and equal treatment of all individuals
regardless of race, gender, disability, age, socio-economic category, sexual
orientation, religion or belief.

The mission of our University is to promote participation in higher education, which it regards
as a democratic entitlement; to strive for excellence in learning, teaching and research; to
realise the creative potential and fire the imagination of all its members; and to equip its
students to make effective contributions to society and the economy.

With an increasingly diverse and global University community, it is essential we take active
steps to build equality of opportunity in all aspects of our work, so we are all encouraged by
an environment of mutual respect and dignity.

The University has a new Strategic Plan. Our Equality Scheme brings together, in a single
public record, all the work the University undertakes to promote equality and eliminate
unlawful discrimination in the delivery of this plan.

It shows how we will work with our students, staff and others to build the capacity and
commitment of the University in becoming an exemplar organisation on equality, diversity
and inclusion by:

   1. raising awareness of diversity among our staff and students to develop practices
      which promote respect and foster a culture of inclusivity

   2. understanding more about the issues students and staff can face in relation to
      disability, gender, age, religion or belief, sexual orientation and other barriers, to
      better address disadvantage and inequality among our students and staff

   3. encouraging the participation, attainment and progression of under-represented
      groups


We will deliver these priority objectives by ensuring diversity and equality of opportunity is
considered and promoted through our planning processes and operations; we will monitor
our performance through better management information, and we will report on our progress
and set fresh objectives for our staff, students and governors as we move forward. We will
respond enthusiastically as the legal framework for equality develops and challenge
ourselves and our partners to be bold and maintain high aspirations.

The promotion of equality and diversity concerns all of us and is the responsibility of all
members of the University’s community. As members of this community, it is expected that
we will all contribute to ensuring that Kingston University is a safe, welcoming and productive
environment.

The University is committed to the fair and equal treatment of all individuals regardless of
race, gender, disability, age, socio-economic category, sexual orientation, religion or belief.
The University recognises that choices (e.g. student admission, staff selection) have to be
made between individuals using proper criteria but is opposed to discrimination based on the
equality characteristics listed above. The University will treat breaches of this Scheme
seriously.


                                                                                                 2
3
1. Introduction

The words “equality” and “diversity” are widely used but not as widely understood. It is
worth, therefore, taking the time to explain what we mean when we use these words
throughout this Scheme. “Equality” means ensuring everyone is able to participate in all our
activities on an equal footing. “Diversity” acknowledges there are differences between
people which should be recognised, respected and celebrated.

The key purpose of the Single Equality Scheme (the Scheme) is to:

To state our commitment to promoting equality in the participation and success of our staff
and students at all stages of their respective life cycles by:

   -   Involving and consulting people in devising the Scheme and Action Plan that covers
       Race, Disability, Gender and where possible Age, Sexual Orientation, Religion or
       Belief and Socio-Economic groups
   -   Gathering data for analysis and monitoring
   -   Conducting Equality Impact Assessments
   -   Taking action
   -   Monitoring our progress
   -   Reporting and publishing our findings
   -   Making arrangements to review our Scheme

The key purpose of the Single Equality Action Plan (the Plan) is to demonstrate exactly what
we are doing/will do to realise this commitment

The Scheme and Action Plan take into account our Public Sector Equality Duties (which are
divided into General and Specific Duties), the University’s strategic plan and equality and
diversity good practice.

2 Our General Duties (For a fuller description of equality legislation please refer to
Appendix 1)

                         Common and specific requirements of
                        Race, Disability and Gender Public Duties

Common requirements of the three areas of       We need to:
Race, Disability and Gender
                                                   Eliminate unlawful
                                                    discrimination/harassment
                                                   promote equality of opportunity
                                                   prepare a written policy or scheme on
                                                    how we will address the aims above
                                                   assess the impact of our policies,
                                                    practices and procedures on different
                                                    groups and publish results
                                                   monitor the recruitment and progress of

                                                                                              4
                                                    students and staff and publish results
                                                   review and revise policies and/or
                                                    schemes and action plans once every
                                                    three years

Specific requirements for       Race            We need to:
each of the three areas of
Race, Disability and Gender                        promote good relations between persons
                                                    of different racial groups

                                Disability      We need to:

                                                   promote positive attitudes towards
                                                    disabled persons
                                                   encourage participation by disabled
                                                    persons in public life
                                                   take steps to take account of disabled
                                                    persons’ disabilities, even where that
                                                    involves treating disabled persons more
                                                    favourably than other persons

                                Gender          We need to:

                                                   consider the need to have objectives to
                                                    address the causes of any gender pay
                                                    gap


Currently, our staff and students are also protected in the areas of education and
employment by the following legislation:

      Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003
      Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003
      Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006

The Single Equality Bill confers general and specific duties (in the same way as for race,
gender and disability) to other areas: pregnancy and maternity, gender reassignment,
disability, age, sexual orientation and religion or belief.
We will consider how our policies, programmes and service delivery will affect these groups
of people too.

 For example we will:

     Consider taking proactive steps to address disadvantage arising on grounds of age
       for example with study skills strategies to support mature students or buddy
       schemes for early researchers
     Foster good relations through addressing any tensions that exist with Lesbian, Gay
       and transgender staff and students and those of certain religions and beliefs.
       Strategies may include discussion, consultation, policies, induction and training.




                                                                                              5
2. Meeting our specific duties
The Specific Duties shows how we are going to meet our General Duties e.g. exactly how
we are going to promote good race relations or how we are going promote equality of
opportunity between disabled persons and other persons or how we are going to take steps
to eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment on the grounds of sex.

  Our Specific Duties are to:
    - Prepare a Single Equality Scheme (this document) and Action Plan.
    - Involve and consult people in devising the Scheme and Action Plan
    - Gather data for analysis and monitoring
    - Conduct Equality Impact Assessments
    - Take action
    - Monitor our progress
    - Report and publish our findings
    - Review our Scheme



2.1 Prepare a Single Equality Scheme and Action Plan
This Single Equality Scheme brings together the common aspects of the Race Equality
Policy, Gender Equality Scheme and Disability Equality Scheme to create a consistent
approach, whilst ensuring that the distinctive requirements for the three areas are also
included. Where the duties are different, these have been identified within the Single
Equality Scheme and will be highlighted in the Plan by reference to the individual area.

 Our aims in producing the Scheme are to:
    - Connect our commitment to equality and diversity to the University’s strategic
        priorities, targets and planning cycle
    - Use existing systems and accountability structures to integrate action arising from
        impact assessment, institutional research and wider best practice
    - Make clear what we are asking of all those we work with and avoid duplication or
        confusion
    - Demonstrate how we intend to fulfil statutory requirements to actual and potential
        learners, employees, partners and others.


The Plan will reflect:
   - The University’s strategic priorities (see Appendix 2)
   - Actions arising from equality impact assessments
   - Management information (including the Annual Equality Report)
   - Consultation and involvement of learners, staff and community groups
   - Our commitment with regard to race, gender and disability equality legislation
   - Best practice in equality and diversity, nationally and internationally



 The Plan will have three categories of action:
 - Proactive actions (reflecting, strategic priorities, best practice)
 - Actions arising from equality impact assessment
 - Actions arising from Equality legislation




                                                                                            6
Our Scheme and Plan recognises and takes into account that staff and student experiences
may not be limited to any one of their equalities dimensions (for example race, disability or
gender), and we will take a multi-dimensional approach to our work on equality and diversity.

The importance of thinking in a multi-dimensional way is demonstrated by the following
extract taken from the Equality and Human Rights Commission which highlights how
gender and disability inter-relate: “Only 47% of disabled women are in employment,
compared with 53% of disabled men. Of the disabled women in employment, only 52%
work full-time. This compares with an employment rate of 75% for non-disabled women
and 86% for non-disabled men.”


2.2 Involve and consult
The purpose of the Scheme is to build equality into all aspects of University life. Integral to
this purpose is the involvement and consultation of learners, staff, partners and others so
their priorities and concerns can be identified and translated into action planning.

Appendix 3 details the involvement and consultation carried out in developing the Scheme
and Action Plan.

2.3 Conduct Equality Impact Assessments
The University has had a specific duty to conduct equality impact assessments in the areas
of race (since May 2002), disability (since December 2006) and gender (since April 2007)
and is including the areas of sexual orientation, religion or belief and age.

The University has used the staff and student life-cycles to frame our equality impact
assessments (Appendix 4).

Recommendations from the equality impact assessments will be prioritised by Deans and
Directors and strategic actions, once agreed by the Equality Committee, will be included in
the Single Equality Action Plan.




 Equality impact assessments:
     Establish whether existing and new policies, practices or procedures have a
        positive, negative or neutral impact on people of different communities, the aim
        being to eliminate negative impact and improve positive impact.
     Are based upon data to establish what different groups experience in terms of
        recruitment, retention and success in their career as a student or member of staff.
     Include action planning, to ensure the results of data analysis and impact
        assessment are acted on; also to take action to set up structures to improve data,
        involvement, etc.
     Should eventually be part of quality assurance processes



2.4 Monitor our progress
The University will collect, analyse and publish in the Annual Equality Report, staff and
student equality data to inform target setting and measurement of our progress (see
Appendix 5). We will also be looking at:


                                                                                                  7
For our students                                   For our Staff
Ethnicity, disability and gender profiles          Ethnicity, disability and gender profiles by
                                                   grade, type of work and type of contract

Application and conversion figures                 Job application and appointments

Retention, achievement and success rates1          Promotion applications and success rates

Work placement participation and                   Training applications
satisfaction levels

Student feedback                                   Staff feedback

Complaints and satisfaction expressed by           Grievances
students or their sponsors                         Staff satisfaction

2.5 Review the Scheme
The Scheme will be formally reviewed in 2011. In the interim, as part of its annual self
assessment process, the University will monitor the effectiveness of the Action Plan and
regularly review arrangements for implementing the Single Equality Scheme through the
committee structure.

2.6 Report and Publish the Scheme
To ensure transparency in equality work and to keep Kingston University’s community
informed of progress, the Scheme, the Action Plan and composite documents will be
promoted to and shared with stakeholders using a variety of media. Equality impact
assessment reports will be made available as they are completed. The Equality Report
which provides key data and findings for our staff and students and progress on equality and
diversity activities is published on an annual basis.

3. Framework for the management of the Single Equality Scheme
We are all responsible for delivering the Single Equality Scheme. Specifically:

         A strategic Equality Committee has been established to provide leadership for
          corporate policies, programmes and initiatives concerned with equality and diversity
          issues. It provides a source of assurance to the Board of Governors on equality and
          diversity matters. The Committee maintains overall responsibility for the University’s
          Single Equality Scheme, Action Plan and has responsibility for ensuring that
          legislative requirements in relation to race, disability and gender equality are met.

         Senior managers: The Single Equality Action Plan sets out a number of key equality
          objectives for senior managers. It is their responsibility to ensure appropriate actions
          are taken to achieve these objectives and those emerging from impact assessments
          by feeding them into individual faculty and departmental plans and operations.

4. Dealing with complaints
Anyone who considers they have been discriminated against or witness discrimination on
the grounds of race, disability, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion or belief should take
action:

         Students have the following options:
             o Course tutor or leader

1
    Including employment rates

                                                                                                   8
            o    Harassment Contact Scheme
            o    Student Complaint Procedure which outlines the steps involved and the
                 support available
        Staff have the following options:
             o Line Manager or Dean or Director
             o Dignity at Work procedure for those who are subject to bullying and
                 harassment
             o Harassment Contact Scheme
             o Grievance procedure

5.   Feedback on the Single Equality Scheme

We welcome your views on the Scheme and invite you to send comments to
equality@kingston.ac.uk .




                                                                                         9

								
To top